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Becoming a Barber

Step 1 Attend Barber School 

Minnesota Statute 154.07 Subdivision 1 defines the requirements and course of study: “…No barber school shall be approved by the board unless it requires, as a prerequisite to admission, ten grades of an approved school or its equivalent, as determined by an examination conducted by the commissioner of education, which shall issue a certificate that the student has passed the required examination, and unless it requires, as a prerequisite to graduation, a course of instruction of at least 1,500 hours, of not more than eight hours in any one working day. The course of instruction must include the following subjects: scientific fundamentals for barbering; hygiene; practical study of the hair, skin, muscles, and nerves; structure of the head, face, and neck; elementary chemistry relating to sterilization and antiseptics; diseases of the skin, hair, and glands; massaging and manipulating the muscles of the face and neck; haircutting; shaving; trimming the beard; bleaching, tinting and dyeing the hair; and the chemical straightening of hair.”   

There are three barber schools available in Minnesota; all three schools are located in Minneapolis:   

Moler Barber School   
4864 Central Avenue NE  
Hilltop, MN 55421  

Minneapolis Community Technical College   
1501 Hennepin Avenue S  
Minneapolis, MN 55403  

Minnesota School of Barbering   
3615 E Lake Street   
Minneapolis, MN 55406  

St. Paul International Barber School
990 Payne Avenue   
St.Paul, MN 55130  

Step 2 Apprentice Examinations and Registration

After completion of Barber School you will be required to take the Board apprentice examination to obtain your Apprentice Barber Registration. The exams are given four times each year the first Monday of February, May, August and November. The exam consists of three parts: written, oral, and practical. Completed application to take the exam is due to the office by the 20th of the month prior to the exam (if the 20th falls on the week-end the application is due on the Friday before). A minimum score of 70% is required on all parts of the exam to pass.

An Apprentice Barber Registration must be renewed annually and will expire December 31 each year. Therefore your original registration may be valid for less than one year.  Barbers are eligible to be apprentice barbers for four (4) years. You must prepare for and take the Registered (Master) Barber examination during the four (4) year period. 

To be eligible for the Registered Barber examination an Apprentice must work for one year and accumulate 1500 hours of experience under the supervision of a current Registered (Master) Barber in a Registered Barbershop.  Per MN statute 154.14 registrations must be posted.  Apprentice barbers are required to inform the Board of their employment and hours accumulated by submitting a Form 1 to report employment and Form 2 to report hours.  

Step 3 Registered (Master) Exam and Registration  

The Registered (Master) Barber Examination is given four times each year the first Monday of February, May, August and November. The exam consists of three parts: written, oral, and practical. Application to take the exam is due to the office by the 20th of the month prior to the exam (if the 20th falls on the week-end the application is due the Friday before the 20th). A minimum score of 75% is required on all parts of the exam to pass. I
To prepare for the written portion of the examination it is required that the applicant purchase a Home Study Course.  The fee for the Home Study Course is $75.00.  This document is designed to assist the applicant in preparation for the written portion of the examination.  In addition candidates should have knowledge of the barber statues and rules (there is a link to this information on the home page) in preparing for the oral portion. General review of your barber school materials is also recommended.   

General Registration Information   

All barbers must work only in a registered barber shop.  Barber registrations expire December 31 annually. Barber shop registrations expire on June 30 annually. The Board makes an effort to send renewal notice to each barber and barber shop, however; it is the barber’s responsibility to renew their registered in a timely manner. Failure to renew on tine each year will result in a late renewal fees. Pursuant to Minnesota statutes 154.15 subd. 2: All barbers who allow their certificates of registration to laps for more than four years shall be required to retake the appropriate barber exam before being issued a certificate of registration.   

Becoming an instructor

Applicant must have a high school diploma or GED, be a Minnesota registered barber for the prior three years, complete instructor training from a Board approved instructor training program or complete specific courses at an accredited college or university, and pass the Board examination.  See the link below for more specific information. 

Reciprocity- Transferring registration between jurisdictions  

Reciprocity is the process of transferring a barber registration between states or countries.   Applications for reciprocity to Minnesota are evaluated on a case by case basis.  The Board will review the education and experience of the applicant as provided in the application and determine eligibility for Minnesota registering. If the applicant's education and experience is determined to be substantially equivalent to the Minnesota requirements and the current out of state registration is in good standing a registration by reciprocity is issued.  If these qualifications are not met the applicant may be required to obtain additional training and/or take the Board Examination for registration.   To apply for a barber registration through reciprocity complete the reciprocity application including providing a copy of your current out of state registration and other information requested on the application.  The Board also requires a letter of verification from the regulatory board where you are currently registered, certified, or licensed.  This letter should be mailed directly to the Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners. 

If you are moving from Minnesota to another state you should contact the state you are moving to for their requirements.  The Board will send verification to the state upon request.  Requests for letters of verification have to be submitted on board supplied form, with appropriate fee. The letter of verification will be sent directly to the state barber board.   

Currently Minnesota has reciprocity agreements with North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, and Kansas. 


See the links below for additional examination information: